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I'm forming a team

Posted by: Rocket Scientist - Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:38 pm
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I'm forming a team 
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Post I'm forming a team   Posted on: Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:38 pm
Ok, I've decided to form a team to compete for the Google Lunar X Prize! :D I have two others on board already. My first goal is to form a team with the necessary expertise across all the subsystems necessary to develop the rover and lunar lander:

Structures
Propulsion
Software
RF Antenna
Controls/Dynamics
Power
Mechanisms
Thermal
Management

I plan to ask people mostly from my company as well as perhaps some friends I know at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Once the team is assembled I plan to approach upper management about funding this project.

I'll post more news as new items develop.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:13 pm
I hope you succeed! and I hope you keep us all informed :)

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Last edited by Sigurd on Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:15 pm
If a team is wanting to enter is there a requirement needed? Do they then approach the X-Prize with a report or something similar?

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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:53 pm
Sigurd wrote:
I hope you succeed! and I hope you keep us all informed :)

I'll definitely post updates as they come. In time I'm sure we will have a website/blog up and running.

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Last edited by Rocket Scientist on Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:37 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
If a team is wanting to enter is there a requirement needed? Do they then approach the X-Prize with a report or something similar?

There is a formal registration process. There is a $10,000 registration fee. You can get the details for registration and rules by emailing a request at

glxp-team@xprize.org

or by mail:

X PRIZE Foundation
Attn: Google Lunar X PRIZE
1441 4th Street
Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA 90401
USA

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Post Very exciting!   Posted on: Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:49 am
It should be very exciting to see what the next few years bring!

Best of luck to you and your Team Adam!

Mike


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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:01 am
Be sure to keep a lot of your updates here for us :)

Have you thought about how you will raise the registration money or is this something you already have available?

Will be interested to hear how you find getting registered! Look forward to the part after that though!

Rob

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Post Re: Very exciting!   Posted on: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:43 pm
Michael Joyce wrote:
It should be very exciting to see what the next few years bring!

Best of luck to you and your Team Adam!


Mike

Thanks Mike! We'll definitely keep in touch.

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Last edited by Rocket Scientist on Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:18 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Be sure to keep a lot of your updates here for us :)

Have you thought about how you will raise the registration money or is this something you already have available?

Will be interested to hear how you find getting registered! Look forward to the part after that though!

Rob

I am putting together a presentation to give to Loral's upper management. As part of the presentation I will cover the registration fee and ask if Loral would pay for the registration fee. There is precedent here at Loral for funding engineering projects. From 1997-2003 Loral funded a solar car that competed in international competition. Solar cars are not cheap, with millions of dollars of needed for development and fabrication. Loral didn't give so much in actual cash funding but they did support the team by allowing them to use Loral facilities for fabrication and testing and Loral generously gave over a million dollars in materials, (composite materials, solar cell arrays, battery technology, usage of analysis software like FEA, thermal, etc). To me this is basically the same as receiving a lot of money. IMO Loral has all the facilities needed to design, build, and test a lunar rover and lander. We have various thermal vacuum chambers, vibrations' labs, mass properties labs, propulsion labs, etc. So I'm hoping Loral will come through for us (crosses fingers)

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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:19 am
What about the idea of a particular General Forum about it? Like for The Microwave-concept for example?

Hello, Sigurd, what do you think about it?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:31 pm
For now this forum of Google lunar X PRIZE is still quite small, but if Adam wants to have his own forum (and he plans to actively use it). I'm all for it. Adam would you like to have one ?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:34 pm
Sigurd wrote:
For now this forum of Google lunar X PRIZE is still quite small, but if Adam wants to have his own forum (and he plans to actively use it). I'm all for it. Adam would you like to have one ?

I think perhaps we should wait until I have some firm funding and have a good idea that we will actually build the rover. I wouldn't want you to start a forum just for my team and then the team dies a few months later. For now I can use this thread to post updates and perhaps early next year we can revisit the forum idea. I am most definitely open to forum idea though.

This week I spent time asking some Loral employees if they are interested in joining the team. All three showed varying interest. I hope to hear back from them next week. The most common questions I have been asked is about funding and time commitment.

I've also been researching information and gathering data. I obtained a copy of the Space Falcon 1 User's Guide and the the Eurocket launch vehicle User's Guide. I also found some good books on rover and lander design on the astrobooks.com website. I think this book will be especially useful.

http://www.amazon.com/Planetary-Landers ... 812&sr=1-1


I've also been trying to find technical information on the two USSR Lunokhod robotic rovers, especially the Luna 17 lunar lander used to soft land these rovers. Anyway that's been my week so far.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:47 pm
It looks like finding team members is a slower process than I thought. Not everyone is as enthusiastic about this competition as I thought they would be. I've always loved everything about space since I was a child and I read about the NASA astronauts, the X-15 pilots, and Project Daedalus I grew up on the low budget science fiction shows like Star Trek and Space: 1999. Space was always this magical fantasy land to me. As I near 40 I still have the same sense of awe that I did as a child. I've come to realize that most people, even engineers working for an aerospace company, don't necessarily feel the same way about space travel. :roll:

I've asked about 7-8 people about joining and the average replay has been lukewarm at best. That has been a bit disappointing but I'll be patient and I will wait to see what happens. I plan to ask several other people as well.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:09 am
Rocket Scientist wrote:
I've asked about 7-8 people about joining and the average replay has been lukewarm at best. That has been a bit disappointing but I'll be patient and I will wait to see what happens. I plan to ask several other people as well.


This is no small task you are asking them to participate in. The project will likely suck up every spare minute they have for the next 3-5 years. If they are worth their salt they must realize this fact. Unless you are prepared to compensate them (regardless of win/loss) as their employer I expect they will be realistic and decline. Even with comparable compensation they are still looking at leaving a good career for a speculative endeavor, after which, they will have to find another job.

You may still hope to find the rare "widely enthusiastic" engineers but you may need to broaden your search beyond your company. These engineers would work for the fun/glory/love of the project and I think these types (such as your self) are best fit for this project. The key (after locating them) will be the effective coordination of a geographically separated design team.

Mike


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Post    Posted on: Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:26 am
Ok, here's an update.

I stumbled across a group of four engineers in the propulsion engineering group that had also formed a team. We met and decided to combine teams. They had done some preliminary mass budget analysis and delta-v calculations.

I spoke to my supervisor about this competition and he suggested I speak to an engineering manager. So I met with this man and we had a productive conversation. He was very positive and supportive of us competing for the Google Lunar X Prize. We spoke about several aspects of the project. He told me that he wants us to write up a proposal and that he would take it to a "spokesman" who is responsible with marketing our company in the aerospace industry. This "spokeman" would present our proposal to upper management.

We've also contacted the CEO of a company that make HD space rated cameras as well.

So things are moving along. Getting our proposal to upper manageemnt is our biggest task for now. Hopefully with hard work and a well written proposal we can convice upper management to sponsor us.

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Last edited by Rocket Scientist on Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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